Video and audio of Senator Maria Cantwell
Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) took to the floor and urged the Senate to approve qualified nominees to fill empty seats on the federal judicial bench. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is planning to move forward next week on President Obama's nominee, Nina Pillard, to fill one of three openings on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
On November 6, 2013, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) called for expanded access to computer programming classes to keep American students competitive in the 21st century. Cantwell also urged strong investments in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as Congress continues to move forward on a reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act.
Senator Maria Cantwell and "Deadliest Catch" Captain Keith Colburn highlight the impact of the government shutdown on fisheries in the Pacific Northwest
At a Senate Finance Committee Hearing on October 10, Sen. Cantwell questions Treasury Secretary Jack Lew about the potential impact of default to the U.S. and global economy.
At today's Commerce hearing, Cantwell also urged Dr. Sullivan to continue NOAA's partnership with the University of Washington's Ocean Acidification Center to research how to protect at-risk species like red king crab (THIS IS NEWSY BTW) from ocean acidification. Ocean acidification is an emerging threat, and the impact to key species like Alaskan king crab is not well known. Red king crab generates about $100 million dollars a year, fishing jobs out of Seattle. Cantwell pushed Dr. Sullivan to take a more active role in clearing the Army Corps of Engineers' backlog of shellfish farm permits in order to create jobs in Washington state's coastal economy.
Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) urged the Obama Administration's nominee to be administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to fully support ocean acidification monitoring buoys and research programs crucial to Washington state's maritime economy. Ocean acidification is already having impacts on Washington's $270 million shellfish industry and the Alaskan King Crab fishery. Cantwell also secured commitments from Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, nominee to be NOAA administrator, to prioritize a 'robust' national forecasting system to better prepare coastal communities for extreme storms and that Dr. Sullivan would push to modernize NOAA's research fleet.
With gas prices over $3-per-gallon for 1,000 straight days, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) secured a commitment today from the Obama Administration's nominee for Federal Trade Commission (FTC) commissioner to use the FTC's power to investigate gas price spikes and potential oil market manipulation. 

During today's Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Cantwell also urged the administration's nominee for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to fight media consolidation.
Today, the nominee to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) told U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) that the primary goal of the commission is to protect consumers. Mr. Ronald Binz, the FERC commissioner nominee, made his statement after questioning from Cantwell in a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee nomination hearing. 

During today's hearing Cantwell also secured commitments from administration nominees to work on projects important to Central Washington. The Deputy Secretary of the Interior nominee, Michael L. Connor, said he's ready to work with local stakeholders to find a funding source for the Yakima Basin Integrated Water Enhancement Project. Dr. Elizabeth Robinson, the Under Secretary of Energy nominee, said she's ready to move forward on the disposal of waste at Hanford.

At a Senate Committee on Finance Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure hearing Cantwell highlighted the importance of supporting the growth of clean energy and a 21st century workforce as Congress moves forward with tax reform.

Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) called for a new Senate nuclear waste bill to include a specific plan for disposing of defense nuclear waste. Her comments came during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2013.